Romans  8:22-27 (NRSV)

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in  hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes  for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes  with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God,  who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit  intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:26 (NRSV)

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes  with sighs too deep for words.   

DEVOTION – Milly Ibanda (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Our village in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo lies in a mountainous region of equatorial tropical forest.  There is a story about a seven-year-old boy who was sent by his parents to the nearest village to look for firewood.  On his way, he met a lion.  Frightened, he stopped and couldn’t move.  However, the young boy remembered the prayer he was taught by his parents; he closed his eyes and prayed like this:  “O Lord, bless this food before we eat it.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”  Miraculously, when he opened his eyes, he could not see the lion, and he continued on his way.

His short prayer, uttered out of context, was nonetheless answered.  His prayer was no better than anyone else’s.  For each of us the Holy Spirit intercedes and shapes our prayers.  Prayer does not depend on particular words or repetitive sentences.  Prayer is guided by the Holy Spirit.  How many times have we found ourselves praying for something other than what we intended?  That is the Spirit working through our prayers.  None of us knows how to pray without the help of the Holy Spirit.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Our prayers are shaped and made powerful by the Holy Spirit.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, may your Holy Spirit lead our prayers and teach us to pray every say.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: PRAYER GROUPS

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